Patient and Family Advisor Projects

As a volunteer Patient and Family Advisor, your voice on the UW Health team offers a perspective only a patient or family member can provide.


Our Patient and Family Advisors share their experiences and perspectives in a variety of ways to improve patient care at UW Health. They even help design/redesign facilities or processes for efficiency and ease and serve on hiring committees for UW Health leadership positions.


Here are just a few examples of ways patient and family voices are being heard through the Patient and Family Advisor Partnership Program:


UW Health at The American Center


Better by Design: Engaging Patients In the Design of UW Health at The American Center


On April 9, 2013, UW Health broke ground on a new hospital, outpatient care and wellness facility on the east side of Madison.


Located in The American Center business park, just north of the intersection of Interstate 90/94 and Highway 151, the new three-wing building will house:

  • Members of the Patient and Family Advisory Council have been part of every discussion about UW Health at The American Center, and will continue to be.A 56-bed hospital serving orthopedic and general medical/surgical patients
  • 14 operating rooms
  • Two floors of clinic exam rooms serving patients in a variety of clinical specialties
  • A universal care center for outpatient diagnostic and treatment procedures and urgent care
  • Physical and occupational therapy facilities
  • A wellness, fitness and sports performance area with therapeutic pools, sports courts and sprint track
  • A 24-hour emergency center for evaluation and treatment or transport to UW Hospital and Clinics' full-service emergency department

Patients are serving as advisory members on the East Executive Committee and the programming subgroups have been directed to formally incorporate patient and family representatives into their planning process.


The purpose of their involvement is to gain their perspective on how we can create a welcoming, easy-to-navigate facility that meets patient and family needs. Patients participated in the 3P facility design workshops and in a committee advising on the exterior look and feel of the building. They will continue to be involved in operational planning and in development of the care model and overall patient experience at the facility.


Institute of Medicine meeting


Peggy Zimdars, a longtime UW Health Patient and Family Advisor and Co-Chair Elect of the UW Health Adult Patient and Family Advisory Council, represented our program at an Institute of Medicine meeting in November 2013 in Washington D.C. Here's what she learned from the event